Gaza Siege! Collective punishment! – And no condemnations!
Egyptian police have sealed off the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip in protest at the
abduction of seven security personnel in Sinai.
Reports say police locked the gates and placed barbed wire at the entrance.
Rafah is the only regular exit from Gaza for 1.6m Palestinians living there. Other crossings into Israel are allowed only in exceptional cases.
The three policemen and four soldiers were captured while travelling in the peninsula, east of El Arish.
Four of the men worked at the Rafah crossing, reports said.
An Egyptian security official said the Rafah crossing will remain closed until the group is released, the Associated Press news agency reported.
The Palestinian Maan news agency said Gaza’s Interior Ministry declared a state of alert along its border with Egypt and large numbers of Egyptian soldiers have been in the area.
The BBC’s Rushdie Abu Alouf, who is among some 150 Palestinians stuck on the Egyptian side, says people including the sick and elderly have been sitting on the ground under the heat of the sun since early morning waiting to cross.
He says there is a long queue of people in front of an Egyptian tank which has closed the road outside the Egyptian gate of the crossing.
One of them, 72-year-old Abu Mohammed, called for the captives’ release, saying: “We have to pay the price of an internal Egyptian problem. We did not kidnap the solders.”
I cannot find a single call for an emergency session at the UN.
Nor any criticism from the Arab world.
Nor any criticism from any Gaza groups.
Nor any condemnations from “human rights” organizations.
Funny, isn’t it?